The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reiterated this week that farms do not have to register with the agency under a 2011 food safety law.

The clarification was included in updated guidance and question-and-answer documents about registration requirements for smaller food facilities. FDA said the documents are intended to provide easier-to-read information for entities that might need to comply, or that might not know if they need to comply, with changes made to food safety law under the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011.

The 2011 food safety law amended a 2002 bioterrorism law, which requires food facilities to register with the FDA. The 2011 law added inspection requirements on qualifying facilities and gave the FDA more authority to stop food production it believes could be harmful to the public.

In the guidance issued this week, FDA clarified that food industry sectors affected by the registration requirements include domestic or foreign manufacturers, processors or packers of foods or storage operations.

Facilities excluded from the registration requirements include farms, restaurants and retail food establishments. These entities either face regulation under other laws or, like wheat farms, produce a product that is not ready to eat until it has been processed.

While not new information, this clarification is important for farmers, some of whom may be contacted by private companies seeking to sell unneeded registration services.

Agriculture-related business operators who are not sure of their status under the food safety law can read more about the compliance requirements online here.

More about food safety efforts in the wheat industry is available online at www.wheatworld.org/foodsafety.